Who's Your Caddy?
A movie script writer can usually find a source of humor in the difference between people. It appears to be natural for members of mankind to split off into groups. Some differences are natural such as men and women, youth and mature. When differences are not apparent people make them up with caste systems at one of the spectrum and exclusive clubs at the other end. Humor based on social class has been used in films since Charlie Chaplin took on the persona of the ‘Little Tramp’ who took on the wealthy every chance he got. Such humor is not presented in a mean spirited way. It is just fun to watch even if there is an underlying social message. The film ‘Who’s Your Caddy’ uses race as the basis for the division. Sometimes race differences can be made funny but more often than not it treads a fine line between good and bad taste. Unfortunately, Caddy stumbles over the line. Both black and white members of the audience are sure to fine parts of this film less than uplifting. The film concerns a rich African-American who made his money in the rap industry trying to fit in a snooty country club in order to play golf. This movie may have been more successful if it wasn’t done right previously with ‘Caddyshack’. That film was such a work of comic genius that it is practically an act of madness to try to remake it, even with a racial twist. It is not a bad movie because of the predominately African-American cast, the flick just doesn’t pull together the way a comedy of this type should. It is acceptable for a film, especially a comedy, to laugh at racial stereotypes; this flick seems to do everything possible to perpetuate them. This golf based film hits every sand trap, water hazard and rough on the course and never quite makes it to the green.
Christopher ‘C-Note’ Hawkins (Antwan ‘Big Boi’ Andre Patton) is rich and successful. He made his fortune in the entertainment industry building a rap music based enterprise. He has a sizable entourage including business manager Lady G (Sherri Shepherd), Big Large (Faizon Love), Dread (Finesse Mitchell), in dread locks of course and for racial balance a white bodyguard, Kidd Clean (Chase Tatum). The one thing that C-Note has always dreamed of was becoming a member of the all white Carolina Pines Golf and Polo Country Club. Much too late in the film the real reason for this is discovered, his father was once a caddy there, the only way a black man could set foot on the greens. This information is vital to the character motivation, what there is of it anyway. A revelation of this fact might have added a little depth to the character of C-Note explaining why he would go through everything that happens in the film. Heading up the board of the club is Dick Cummings (Jeffrey Jones). He is obviously bigoted not just towards blacks but to anyone he views as beneath him. This apparently includes most of the world’s population. In the film he denies membership to former President Bill Clinton and Rosie O’Donnell. When C-Note requests an immediate membership he is denied. The stated reason is the five year waiting period for a new member. The animosity between C-Note and Cummings starts off from the first moment. When C-Note states he wants an application Cummings offers him job applications for caddy or stable worker. C-Note has Lady G announce just who he is with an elaborate prepared statement, and takes out a suitcase with a million dollars cash.
C-Note comes up with a plan to retaliate against Cummings and force him to accept him as a member. He buys a luxury estate that just happens to over look the 17th green. The realtor, a gay stereotype thrown in for good measure, is elated when C-Note buys the property for cash and wants to close within 24 hours. Cummings is so uptight that he doesn’t even notice it when his busty trophy wife (Susan Ward), tired of his ignoring her stands stark naked in front of him stating this is what she is wearing to her lesson. He doesn’t eve blink as he wishes her well. Cummings does take notice when C-Note begins filming rap videos on his property facing the gold course. Naturally the videos feature numerous gyrating young women with dental floss inspired wardrobe. Cummings tries to buy the property from C-Note by sending a beautiful, black lawyer Shannon Williams (Tamala Jones) but C-Note will not sell under any circumstances. With no alternative possible the board pressures Cummings into granting membership. The thing is it is a probationary membership and even the slightest infraction in the first four months means immediate revocation. Cummings tries everything possible to get C-Note or his crew to break the rules. Nothing works, even when one of his posse is found carrying a gun they producer a special permission note from the mayor. Just to make sure as many groups as possible are stereotyped here a little person, Big Willie Johnson (Tony Cox) is hired to kill C-Note. Finally a ‘winner takes all’ golf match is proposed between C-Note and Cummings. The loser has to leave for good.
Now I’m a fan of silly flicks. They do have their place especially when relaxing with some beer and pizza with some friends. There is not enough beer in Milwaukee to make this film funny. It was directed and co-written by Don Michael Paul who has mostly been involved with acting on television. He actually does pace the film fairly well, it moves along. As noted previously a major piece of exposition is delayed until far too late in the story. The script seems to be going down a checklist of some sort of racial clichés. There is the mandatory black man naked in the shower room with old white men both afraid and envious of his ‘endowments’. All the white women lust after the black men for the same reason. Big Large takes Cummings 14 year old son, Wilson (Andy Milonakis) to a strip club. There is little that is original in this film.
There is one bright spot here and that is the cast. Big Boi is a member of the music group Outkast. Their music videos demonstrate not only musical ability but a great sense of humor. It shows that he can do comedy but was not given much to go with here. Jeffrey Jones has put some legal problems behind him, much to his credit. He is also trapped in playing the same role over and over again. He has made a career of being the lamentable and often hated authority figure.
The Weinstein Company is best known for great little Indy films that you most likely never heard of. This consistent excellence should buy them a pass for this flick. The technical specifications are excellent with a bright anamorphic 1.85:1 video transfer and a pounding Dolby 5.1 audio. There is a commentary track with the director and actor Faizon Love. Also included are a few deleted scenes and a making of featurette. Take the mulligan on this one.